–“Intune has changed absolutely everything. We’re finally where we want to be.”– Michael Rogers, Systems Administrator, Bristol City Schools
Bristol City Schools wanted to find a more efficient way to manage their 4,000 student devices
Bristol City Schools had long been using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to manage their fleet of Windows laptops and Chrome Books for faculty and students. However, it was not going well. Their Sys Admin found that SCCM was unreliable in delivering what they needed to ensure the secure and productive use of devices throughout the school system.
Their device management woes with SCCM stemmed from three major issues:
SCCM was unreliable with OS updates. So much so, that the team was relying on the devices to be physically on-site and connected to Bristol City School’s network to deliver critical updates to devices. The band-aid worked temporarily but was overwhelming their network. Once the pandemic hit, this solution stopped working entirely. When learning became remote, the devices were not regularly making it back on site to connect to the school network. The team was unable to apply updates and patches off-premises, making the devices vulnerable to attack.
The IT team had to manually image devices with SCCM. Their strategy was to collect all the devices at the end of the school year, then make a mad dash to reimage 4000+ devices during the summer vacation. Maintaining the images required a tremendous amount of effort and resources.
SCCM was not providing the inventory management capabilities the school needed to effectively track and monitor their devices. The inventory data was cumbersome, and it was not clear if a device could be located if lost. What was worse is that it was difficult to secure or wipe a device if it had gone missing or had been stolen.
Making the Pivot to More Reliable Management in Intune
To address their issues – unreliable updates, manual imaging and inventory management – the team at Bristol City Schools decided to pursue a move from SCCM to Microsoft Intune, a component of Microsoft Endpoint Manager. They engaged with Mobile Mentor to build an Intune environment that would suit the needs of students, staff and faculty. The school was already licensed for Microsoft A3 which included Intune so there was no additional cost for licensing.
The team at Mobile Mentor then designed a future Intune environment with Windows Autopilot, Apple Business Manager, and Android Enterprise for the group.
A heavy focus was placed on enabling the Bristol City Schools IT department to gain better control of their inventory, while also setting the ability to push OS updates while devices were off premises. Additionally, Mobile Mentor worked to enable Zero-Touch provisioning capabilities so the Bristol City Schools team would not be forced to bring devices in-house for imaging. Once delivered, Mobile Mentor provided knowledge transfer to the Bristol City Schools team as they continued their Intune journey.
“Setting up devices is now effortless because when we purchase our PCs they are enrolled in Intune before they touch anyone’s hands.”–Michael Rogers, Systems Administrator, Bristol City Schools
Running at Full Speed with Microsoft Intune
With their new Intune capabilities, Bristol City Schools can now apply over-the-air updates off-premises. This ensures that their devices are kept secure and up to date regardless of location.
The team is also enjoying the capabilities of zero touch provisioning for new devices. The days of their IT department scrambling to physically image over 4,000 devices during a short summer vacation are now over. They can now achieve the desired results without ever having to physically touch a device and without having to maintain an image!
Importantly, the Bristol City Schools IT department now has a visibility into the status and location of their inventory. If a device is lost or stolen, they can wipe it remotely, ensuring sensitive data isn’t compromised.
As a bonus, the group is leveraging the company portal available via Intune. This enables them to distribute apps with the click of a button, a capability that was unachievable using SCCM.
Currently, Bristol City Schools is running full speed in their Intune environment. The group is positioned to efficiently keep their devices up-to-date, secure, and managed for the foreseeable future.
“I can’t imagine going back (to SCCM)“– Michael Rogers, Systems Administrator, Bristol City Schools
ABOUT BRISTOL CITY SCHOOLS
Bristol Tennessee City Schools is comprised of over 4,000 students in eight schools. They focus on providing the best educational experience possible for students to prepare them for their futures.
One way Bristol City Schools is accomplishing this is by pursuing personalized learning through a digital conversion effort, which includes providing devices for all 4th-12th graders to use at school and home. By doing so, the schools offer students an educational platform they can use anytime and anywhere to do relevant activities based on their own interests using the same electronic tools professionals use every day.